My Community Cross-section: Gwenda (a.k.a mum)


Gwenda & her husband

Location of birth: Randwick, Australia

Year I was born: 1955 – Yeah I’m old but it sure beats the alternative!!

Any interesting family history:  My maternal Grandfather was a ‘runner’ for the Australian Lighthorsemen at Beersheva and therefore was involved in the liberation of Israel. He came home from the war with a glass eye, which he never talked about.  My paternal Grandfather was a British officer in Calcutta where my dad was born, so growing up I would tell everyone my dad was from India…which was true, but funny considering everyone in the family was blonde! lol

Jobs you have had:  Shop assistant while at school…my first pay was $35 and I thought I was rich!!  Then an Office Clerk while waiting to get into nursing training to become a Registered Nurse. Left nursing for awhile and worked with my hubby in his building business as Manager and Interior Designer.  Worked as an Office Manager for a Ministry for a year, then back to nursing!  I’m presently a Nurse Educator in an Operating Theatre Unit!!…and yes, I do cope with all the blood!! J When you’re busy looking after the patient, it really isn’t something that worries you…unless there is too much of course and then you worry for the patient!!

Things you are passionate about: God, Family (hubby, ‘kids’…Katrina, Kirk, Chris & Cass), and special friends!  A cliché but at the end of the day, that really is all that matters!

Things you don’t like: Evil people that harm the innocent!!

Places you have lived: Sydney, Port Macquarie and Noosa.  When I was growing up my grandparents lived within a short walk to the water at Cronulla and we spent every school holidays with them. It had such an impact on me (still get the warm feeling when I think about it now) When I was in High School we had a family holiday house at Jervis Bay, and that convinced me I always wanted to be near water!  When married we lived near the ocean at Bundeena, Port Macquarie and Noosa…such a blessed life!!  Then hubby wanted a tree change and I agreed reluctantly to move inland near Eumundi.  We’re on 7 acres now and surprisingly I absolutely love it!  Mind you, hubby is just in the process of finishing the pool deck…he understands I still need to be near water!!

17 years old

Dream/goals as you were growing up:  When I was 5 years old I stuck pins into the face of Betty, my beautiful new china doll!!  Mum was not impressed!!  How destructive!! Why would a little girl do such a thing??  Maybe she has a nasty, vicious streak??  But the thing was that my Dad was sick and spent a lot of time in hospital…I was actually play acting being a nurse and making it all better!!  Probably not so easy to figure out at the time, but interesting on reflection considering I have been a Theatre Nurse for over 35 years!!

What was it like growing up:  My dad died when I was 7 years old, so it certainly had its tough times!!  But mostly I have memories of being surrounded by people who cared and loved me. My mum remarried when I was 11 which was kinda tough ‘cause I didn’t have her to myself anymore…but kinda good because I could start living my own life without worrying about a grieving mum!! I was teased a lot by my 3 older brothers, and  used to get spoilt rotten by their girlfriends!!

Advice you would now give yourself as a child: Don’t sweat the small stuff!!  You can’t go wrong if you stick with what the good book says!!

Special community day in Bundeena, Sydney Australia

Life changing moments:  A dramatic one was having a pillow fight with my dad when I was 7 years old!!  I was totally unaware that he had an aortic aneurysm and it would only be a matter of time till it burst.  Apparently he had been told to lay still and avoid doing anything that would elevate his blood pressure (it was inoperable)  He died later that night…apparently he woke my mum up and said ‘It’s time love’.  As I became older it occurred to me that I had basically killed my father!!  It wasn’t till I was in my 30’s that I realised it was the most loving gift a Dad could ever give to his little girl… he was prepared to risk all to give me a happy memory of a playful Dad!!

My Mum and Dad had 3 boys and then a still-born girl, who died just before she was born…so Mum had to endure a full labour knowing her baby had died and then to find out it was the girl they had been hoping for.  They were told it would be dangerous for Mum’s health to have another pregnancy, but they had a strong faith in God and decided to try one more time….and then they had me!! I have often wondered what it would have been like to have had an older sister and what she would have been like…but then again, if she had survived Mum says they wouldn’t have had me.

Travelling: We went OS to Tasmania when pregnant with Treens!! (does that count as OS??) Travelled the northern part of Australia for 6 months with hubby and kids…best thing we’ve ever done and highly recommend it!! Hubby and I went to Israel in 2004…wonderful…want to go again!!

Son, Husband & Son-in-law at a Host A Murder dinner

What do you think your future holds: More of the same will do me fine…but with a bit more time freed up to spend with the people I love!!

My favourite thing to do (I have to admit I’m totally obsessed), is being part of the Jubilee Ministry Dance Team!!  I’ve been very blessed to be able to do this for the past 10 years…with a special blessing of my gorgeous girl Treens being in the team as well!!  It is like being part of a very special family who all have a love for worship…and for one another!! The team are asked to minister at various functions about 12 times a year!!  We’re always amazed that we’re asked at all, but we’ll continue for as long as we’re required…and I’m in it for the long haul…even if I have to use a walker!

Mmmm….actually life’s pretty good!!!

The fam

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